|Your Home - Let me organize you|
|Written by Neil Bindelglass|
|Friday, 04 April 2008|
WHAT IS HOME STAGING?
Q: I've heard the term "home staging," and I know that it's related to selling your home, but I have no idea what it is!
A: Hi, Bill:
Unfortunately, many consumers who are about to sell their homes, or who are in the process of selling their homes have no idea what home staging is and how it can help them.
Very simply, home staging is about de-personalizing and de-decorating your home in order to appeal to a wider audience and to sell your home faster and for more money.
You most likely have a beautiful home. And you most likely have many beautiful things in your home. Unfortunately, you haven't opened a retail shop to sell your things. You have opened your home to the public in order to sell IT. And it is your house that you want the public to see, not your beautiful things, not your family photographs, not your large collection of books. This is what staging is all about.
In addition to de-personalizing your home, home stagers de-clutter your home to make it appear larger, and more inviting. In my case, as a home stager, I help my clients lighten their load and pack away things that they own but will not need until they move into their new home, thus making their move easier and often cheaper.
Once the home is de-cluttered and de-personalized, the interior is made more neutral by lightening the wall colors, taking away curtains and updating flooring. This is all done within a client's budget.
Home staging is about turning your home into a house. A home is where you live, a house is merchandise on a currently flooded market. Having your home professionally staged can give it the edge to sell it quickly.
GET READY FOR STAGING!
Q: I'm getting ready to sell my home this Spring, and I want to hire a home stager. The problem is that I don't know if I can afford one, and even if I can I want to do as much of the work myself as possible. How do I go about this?
A: Dear Dan:
First of all, you most likely can afford a professional stager. In fact you can't afford not to hire a professional stager in this difficult market. Staging is less expensive than a price reduction, and professional home staging has been shown to sell houses more quickly.
There are many things that you can do to prepare for a professional staging. The first of which is to start clearing out your closets, garage, attic, kitchen cupboards and basement. Toss what you don't need. Box up and if possible, store the things that you want to keep but don't use on a regular basis. Also, put anything personal away. This includes family photos and religious items.
Add to that deep cleaning. Get the rugs professionally steam cleaned, wash the windows, touch up scuffed or chipped paint. And put away anything that you don't use on a daily basis. This is also a good time to go through your medicine cabinets and throw away expired prescriptions and OTC items, because potential buyers do open medicine cabinets and linen closets.
Once you've had a Professional Stager in to look at your home, they will be able to tell you what other things you can do to keep the price of the staging to a minimum. But just remember that the return on investment makes the financial cost as well as the work you put into it well worth it!
STAGING FROM THE OUTSIDE IN
Q: I've heard that many stagers work on the outside of a house as well as the interior. What does staging the outside of a house mean?
A: Hi, Janine:
Good professional stagers do stage the outside of their client's homes. In real estate parlance, this is know as "curb appeal." What that means is that first impressions count! As your Realtor approaches your house with a potential buyer, the first thing that the they see is the outside of your house. And how good the outside looks can sometimes determine whether the buyer even wants to look at the interior.
The basics are that the lawn needs to be mowed. Bald patches should be addressed. Hedges should be trimmed. There should be a fresh doormat at every exterior door, and a fresh doormat inside every exterior door, as you don't want the general public tracking dust into your newly staged home.
In addition, all exterior lighting fixtures should be in good repair, and should have fresh light bulbs in them. The front door should have a fresh coat of paint, and the house should be pressure washed (or at the very least, all of the cobwebs should be swept away). If you have room for hanging plants or a planter by the front door, they should be filled with colorful flowers.
Any backyard furniture should be washed and in good repair. If you have an outside eating area, it should look fresh, and the table should be set for a party, if you're having an open house.
You want the outside of your home to invite potential buyers inside. The exterior should say to them, "Welcome home!" This is how you get offers. Fast.